Sexual Tension at Work: 36 Lusty Signs of Flirty Coworkers You Can’t Hide

If you’re feeling sexual tension at work, it can be exhilarating and exciting. Here are the signs of it and how to handle it well if you feel it.

sexual tension at work coworkers

People like to make jokes about having a work wife or husband. If anything, it just shows you all the subtle signs of sexual tension at work.

Most people experience that weird moment at work. You know the one where you hold the gaze of a co-worker just a little too long. You feel something inside—a tingle in your stomach, a kind of nervousness that wasn’t there before. Ever felt that? You might be experiencing sexual tension at work.

Maybe you have had a massive crush on a co-worker for ages, and suddenly they give you lots of attention. Or suddenly, your boss starts treating you favorably, and you aren’t sure why.

Usually, we like to think that we have our feelings under control. And no one else will be able to sense that you and your coworker have some crazy sexual tension.

It could be that the mutual sexual tension is welcome and makes you want to come to work every day, or that it makes you feel uncomfortable and increasingly annoyed as you just want to get on with your job.

But here’s the thing, unless your office is full of sexually inexperienced people, everyone knows. Sorry to break it to you, but you’re not doing that good of a job hiding it. [Read: The pros and cons of banging in the workplace]

What is sexual tension?

It’s not an easy one to explain and can only be understood if you’ve experienced it with someone. This isn’t based on your emotions. Instead, it’s more of a build-up of sexual frustration. It’s like touching something you’re not allowed to for a long period of time.

This is a hard thing to ignore, especially if you’re working with this person. You see them every day. Now, sexual tension can be from both sides or only one side. When it comes from both people? It’s explosive. [Read: 13 lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]

What does sexual tension feel like?

You’ve heard the term sexual tension, but maybe you’ve never experienced it before. So, what does it feel like? Well, when you are with someone with whom you have sexual tension, as the expression goes, “sparks fly.”

It’s almost like it permeates the air and that you could cut it with a knife. It’s a vibe and energy between two people.

Sexual tension feels like an intense feeling of flirtation. It goes beyond flirty words and actions. It’s a feeling of heightened sexual attraction that both people can feel.

Why is there sexual tension between coworkers at work? 

It’s not like coworkers are particularly susceptible to sexual tension. Anyone can feel it at any time, anywhere. So, it’s just natural to have sexual tension in the air sometimes, especially when people see each other all the time at work. [Read: The sneaky ways to build sexual attraction with someone you like]

Causes of sexual tension at work

Now you’re probably wondering what causes sexual tension in the workplace. Well, there are endless reasons, but here are the common ones.

1. You spend a lot of time together

Let’s face it – most people spend more time with the people they work with than their own family or spouse.

It’s at least 8 hours a day, and sometimes a lot more. So, since you’re around each other so much, it’s not uncommon for people to create a bond, and sometimes it turns sexual.

2. You instantly vibe with them

Some people you just connect with immediately. There’s no rhyme or reason sometimes – it just happens.

So, maybe it’s their personality, their smell, or their awesome good looks. But sometimes people just click, and that causes sexual tension. [Read: 15 Intense signs of chemistry that reveal an instant connection]

3. Your fellow coworkers tease you together

Maybe one or both of you are oblivious to the sexual tension between the two of you. Or, you’re just trying to ignore it. But when other people start to notice and tease you about it, the sexual tension can grow even stronger.

4. You find your coworker attractive

This is the most obvious reason there is sexual attention in the workplace, right? It’s because the two of you are attracted to each other!

Even if one or both of you aren’t single, that doesn’t mean you’re blind. It’s hard to ignore the feelings of attraction for someone who you find sexy and alluring.

The subtle signs of sexual tension at work that get stronger with time

Of course, the work environment is a dangerous one when it comes to sex. Having sexual tension with a colleague and not knowing whether to act on it can be very disruptive to your work. [Read: 34 subtle signs a coworker likes you and is deeply infatuated by you]

It could affect your performance and lead to office gossip. Plus, if you do act on it and things don’t work out, it leads to awkwardness at best and dreadful heartbreak at worst!

So, you may be trying to figure out if two of your coworkers have something going on between them or how to clean your own tracks. Either way, you want to figure out what people look for when they’re looking for signs of sexual tension between coworkers.

If you’re trying to figure this out, ask yourself if this is something you even want to get yourself into. Just sayin’. [Read: 20 signs a coworker is sexually attracted to you and wants to seduce you]

Anyways, let’s get down to business. It’s time for you to know the signs of sexual tension between co-workers. Sometimes work can be fun.

1. You feel it

Though the rest of these signs will help you determine if there’s sexual tension or not, the best way to go about it is by following your gut instinct. Do you feel that there’s something going on? 

Do you feel this heat of energy inside of you when you talk or look at each other? If you feel it, you’re onto something. [Read: What causes sexual tension – what exactly does it feel like?]

2. Eye contact

One of the first signs of sexual tension at work is when you keep meeting one another’s gaze. If you find that whenever you look up, one of your co-workers is there looking at you, it might be because they have a crush on you.

Do you find yourself wanting to catch eyes with a certain someone in the office? Do you look at each other for longer than normal? Perhaps you find yourself blushing and looking away, but then looking back for another glance?

Where there’s prolonged eye contact, there’s an emotional connection. Now, this doesn’t have to be a deep emotional connection, it can be purely sexual. The point is, they’re giving you the eyes. If it’s a longer stare than usual, there’s something going on. [Read: What prolonged eye contact means in flirting]

3. Excuses to come over

Do you find yourself making excuses to go and talk to a particular colleague, or do you find they always seem to be asking you questions or stopping by your desk for a chat? If so, the sexual tension is likely to increase.

4. Flirty conversations

Are you always joking and having sexually charged conversations? Do they compliment you? Or make sexual innuendos? Do you find that no matter what you talk about that the conversation always turns sexual? [Read: The lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]

5. Flirty emails

Do you spend time when you should be working writing flirty emails to your colleague? This is a sure-fire sign that there is sexual tension between you. It makes it all the more intense when you see one another too.

6. Flirt with each other via text

You may work together, but you also text each other all the time. Well, first of all, if you are flirting with each other, then there’s some sexual tension between you. 

It may start out physical, but if you allow it, it’ll develop into something greater. But that doesn’t mean it’s better. [Read: The subtle hints to tell you friendly vs flirty]

7. Spending lunch breaks together

Do you always go for lunch together or find time in your breaks for a quick chat? Spending as much of your free time together as possible during the workday makes it pretty clear that there is something going on between you.

8. After-work drinks

If the flirting continues outside work hours, here is where things get most intense. If you often go for drinks after work together, then it shows that you like one another. But also, there might be more to it than just a mild office flirtation. [Read: 15 ways to tell if a co-worker likes you]

9. Other people are talking

Have you heard other people are gossiping about the pair of you? This could only fuel the sexual tension further but be warned, it means your reputation at work is being damaged.

10. Favorable behavior

Is your colleague treating you differently from other people? Maybe they come to you with questions or for advice more often than your other coworkers.

Whatever it is, if you notice that the object of your affection is treating you more favorably than others, that’s a big sign of sexual tension. [Read: Hotness decoder: How to know if you’re attractive to someone]

11. Flirty touching

Do they stand behind your chair and graze your shoulder with their hands? Or maybe your legs touch when you end up sitting next to one another? Do they give you little hugs now and again? Not in a brotherly way, because we’re talking about flirtatious touching. 

Aside from eye contact, you’re touching their arm, they’re touching your lower back, putting their arm around you. In other words, they’re not acting like they’re just your coworker.

If anything, they want to end work early and take you home. Being touchy-feely is a surefire sign that sexual tension is increasing.

12. Teasing

Teasing is just another form of flirting. If they always tease you, it’s probably because they are trying to show you they are really attracted to you! [Read: What is flirting? The science behind this common act]

This is also a form of flirting, so it’s a good sign. Some guys aren’t into paying girls compliments. Instead, they tease the girls they like. 

Not rudely, it’s always with a gentle arm nudge and a smile. Through this, they’re trying to build a bond and make you feel comfortable. But don’t forget, this is all done with a hint of sexual tension.

13. It’s like being in high school

Except you get paid. Though it’s not like high school, thank God, the feeling of having someone chase you and vice versa is very high school. [Read: Infatuation – the real definition and 13 signs you’re infatuated with someone]

It’s fun, it’s flirty, and every time you get to work, your stomach starts with butterflies. Now, this could be single-sided, but if you’re seeing this with some other signs, then it may be two-sided.

14. You’ve had sexual thoughts about them

Now, it’s normal for us to look at people and momentarily think about them in a sexual way, but with them, your thoughts last for minutes or way more. 

Usually, you’re aroused by the end of it. But this may only be one-sided. However, it does show that there is sexual tension. [Read: Is the sexual tension mutual? Here’s how you can tell for sure]

15. There’s a bunch of awkwardness

Another sign of sexual tension at work is awkwardness. When you talk to each other, it’s more awkward than anything.

Okay, you or the other person could just be awkward people, but usually, when there’s sexual frustration, it’s because you’re both trying to contain your sexual desires.

16. People are making comments

Listen, here’s one of the signs of sexual tension between coworkers that can’t be avoided – if other people notice something going on between you, it’s true. 

There is no way that other people would comment if they’re not feeling the sexual tension. And don’t assume that others can’t tell. You’d be surprised at how observant people are. [Read: 14 signs to recognize lustful sexual tension when you see two people]

17. You just want them to kiss you

There are these moments where you’re standing across from them or they’re sitting next to you, and you’re thinking, can you just kiss me already? 

They’re looking at your lips when you talk, and you want them to swoop right in. Listen, don’t let the vibe fool you, there’s some tension going on.

18. Your real partner makes comments

You remember your actual partner, right? [Read: 16 ways to handle your horniness when there’s mutual sexual tension]

No one likes the idea of their partner being at work with other people that could be a potential threat. Your partner may have met them or have heard you talk about them, and, well, they’re not thrilled. You notice your partner becoming jealous, and it’s because they know something is going on.

19. You both spruced up your wardrobe

It’s amazing what a work crush can do to you. You may have started to dress better now that you have a work crush, but they’re also doing the same.

They’re smelling fresh, they had a haircut, and they bought themselves a new outfit. They wouldn’t do that for no reason, and neither would you.

20. You don’t separate easily

You need to go back to work, but it’s not easy prying you both away from each other. It seems that you can’t be with them and vice versa.

If you had it your way, you would be in the lunch room until it’s time to clock out. Oh right, you also have lunch with them. [Read: 18 signs of an emotional affair you probably didn’t notice]

21. Talk outside of work

Flirting at work is one thing, but you bring it out of working hours. If you’re texting each other after work is over, something’s going on. Sure, you can text each other if it’s work-related, but if not, they may be into you.

22. Smiles, smiles everywhere

Of course, you can’t help but smile because you’re completely into them. You giggle, stutter, and feel the butterflies in your tummy. You just want a piece of them. If they’re doing the same, well, it looks like you both want each other.

23. You feel like you can’t resist

If you literally fight yourself from jumping on top of them, well, there’s a bunch of sexual tension inside of you, waiting to pop out.

This could be one-sided, but if they’re touching, flirting, and smiling with you all the time, it’s two-sided. In that case, have fun! [Read: How to be sexually attractive – 40 subtle ways to seduce anyone]

24. Body language

You’re always physically close while talking. Or, you’re bumping up next to one another on “accident.”

Body language accounts for over 80% of the meaning of a message. So, if both people’s body language is screaming, “I want you!” then that’s probably what’s going on.

25. People mistake you for a couple

Maybe some other people in the office don’t know the two of you too well. Or maybe one or both of you are new.

Either way, if other people assume you’re a couple or are dating, then that means they see the sexual tension. It also means you’re sort of acting like a couple at work too.

26. Conversations can sometimes feel awkward

Not everyone is outgoing and confident around the people they have crushes on. In fact, some of them just get downright nervous and don’t know what to say.

So, if you find that some of your conversations are awkward, it could be because of the sexual tension in the air. [Read: How not to be shy and awkward around your crush and talk to them casually]

27. You get butterflies

You probably know the butterfly feeling in your stomach. It’s almost like you’re going down a rollercoaster because the exhilaration and the rush are so intense. That is an unmistakable sign that you are feeling sexual tension with another person at work.

Is it sexual tension or just a crush at work? 

Some people confuse a crush and sexual tension. But there are some subtle differences. 

First, you need to pay attention to how your body reacts when you think about the person. If it’s a crush, then the emotions might feel more like “being in love.” In other words, it feels more emotional. [Read: 28 Signs someone has a secret crush on you and is trying to hide it]

When you’re crushing on a person, you imagine what it would be like to be in a romantic relationship with them. So, this means that everything excites you about them. 

You might fantasize about having romantic dinners, long walks on the beach, or drinking wine in front of a fire. You just focus on how amazing they are as a person. Therefore, crushes tend to be more genuine. They tend to be based more on the real qualities of the person that they like and admire. 

A crush has a better chance of developing into a relationship than sexual tension. If the crush is mutual, it could lead to something more long-lasting than if it’s just sexual tension. [Read: How to text your crush without being boring or annoying them]

On the other hand, if it’s sexual tension, then your body tends to get more aroused. It feels strictly like lust. In this situation, your thoughts are mostly sexual. Instead of imagining romantic things you would do with them, you are thinking about sexual things you would do to them in bed.

So, as you can see, sexual tension tends to be a little more shallow than a crush because it’s more limited to sexual attributes. You haven’t really gotten to know the person as a whole and “fallen in love” with their personal qualities other than how they look.

It might be difficult to tell the difference between the two because sometimes they occur at the same time. Both of the feelings give you a huge rush, so they can feel similar.  [Read: How to start a conversation with your crush – The secrets to impress]

What to do with sexual tension at work

All of the above suggests that perhaps you and a colleague are flirting with one another and that the sexual tension between you is building. Deciding what to do about it can be tricky. Here are some things to consider.

1. Are they single? 

It’s important to find out whether the object of your desire is actually single before you make a move. If you don’t know them that well, then try to find this out. Getting into a situation with someone already attached is rarely a good idea. [Read: 18 signs you may be in an emotional affair already]

2. How well do you really know them? 

Sometimes you might think you like them, but it’s really the mystery that makes it so enjoyable. If you got to know them, you might not even like them at all.

3. How closely do you work together? 

Do you have to see this person every day? Do you sit next to one another or work on the same team? These things are worth considering if you decide to make a move if things don’t work out you wish they worked in a different department!

4. How much do you like them? 

Really consider how much you really like this person. Is it just a crush, or are you really serious about them? 

Consider your feelings and then make sure they feel the same way too before you do anything. If they are just in it for the flirting or just want a casual fling, you could end up getting really hurt. [Read: Dating a co-worker: 10 biggest dos and don’ts you can’t ignore]

5. Is it worth risking your job? 

Having a flirtation at work can be lots of fun and a good way to inject some excitement and intrigue into your day. This happens all too easily, especially if you don’t find your job that fulfilling.

The problem is if you act on it and then regret it, or you end up becoming a couple, but then things go pear-shaped, this really could put your job in jeopardy. 

You may simply find it too hard to keep seeing their face every day, you might feel embarrassed, hurt, rejected, angry, and so on. [Read: Sexual tension – 20 signs the urge is uncontrollably strong]

If you can’t solve your problems, then your work suffers, and you may end up with disciplinary action taken against you. Or you may want to leave your job because you simply can’t stand working there any longer.

This is particularly true if you end up acting on a flirtation with your boss or someone more senior than you. While totally unethical for them to use their position of power against you, this does happen all too often. You may find yourself being quietly forced out of a job that you had no intention of leaving.

[Read: Sex in the office – 14 pros & cons of banging in the workplace]

Sexual tension at work happens to lots of us. Deciding what to do about it is up to you. But it is important to recognize the signs and decide early on whether to act on them or not. 

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